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Unlocking the vast potential of informal housing through targetted funding

Unlocking the vast potential of informal housing through targetted funding

Ludwig Diergaardt and Piet Paulse, two residents of Otjimuise on the outskirts of Windhoek, learned this week that they are next in line for grants to build their own homes, following more funding received by the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia.

The two men are contributing members of the federation.

The Shack Dwellers Federation is a national organisation funded with millions of dollars by private sector companies. It also collects monthly contributions from its members. From the proceeds, it grants loans to its members to construct their own houses. These loans must be amortised creating additional capital, which is then used for the same purpose.

The Federation’s momentum received a major boost recently when Standard Bank made another contribution, this time of N$2 million, to the its kitty. This money is earmarked for loans to federation members living in Windhoek’s Havana and Okuryangava settlements, and to residents of Berseba in the south and Ojtinene in Omaheke.

The bank raised the funds through its Buy-a-Brick campaign which started in 2015 with the specific aim to raise funding for housing initiatives. From the proceeds of this campaign, the bank has already donated N$1.4 million to the federation.

At a ceremony where the federation received the money from the bank, a federation member, Elizabeth Nipondoka who lives in Otjomuise, said “I have been a member of the federation for 11 years and I am part of the Natangwe Savings group. We are still waiting on the municipality to service our land, we have no water or electricity and life is really hard but today I am happy. Seeing my fellow federation members receiving grants gives me hope that we are next.”

Diergaardt commented “This donation is a really good thing, we are all happy and people’s hearts are now overjoyed knowing they will soon have their homes. We are looking forward to when our day (to receive the grants) also come.”

The Khomas region has about 156 savings groups that have managed to raise about N$8 million for the federation so far.



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